Monday, May 18, 2009

Waging an Overseas Contingency Operation Against Alternatively-Peaceful Ideologues??

I suppose that "overseas contingency operation" does sound nicer that "war on terror."

The phrase, "war on terror," sounds so, well warlike.

I think I understand why President Obama was so eager to end the war - or at least the word - as quickly and quietly as possible. Code Pink isn't entirely representative of his party's views, but quite a few of his supporters seemed to be peaceniks.

Pleasing Supporters and Staying Alive: No Easy Task

President Obama seems to be in the unenviable position of wanting to demonstrate that he is utterly unlike the 'diabolical' President Bush: while acting to ensure that America is around for his re-election.

So far, he's stepping up his 'unilateral' attack on Afghanistan. (Notice how America isn't acting 'unilaterally' any more?) What he'll do about prisoners at Guantanamo is still up in the air: but at least he didn't immediately released them.

There's a good chance that President Obama will remember that the prisoners at the Guantanamo facility are there because they were (almost certainly) trying to kill Americans and other people who weren't on their imam's 'preferred' list.

Aside from a few unscripted gaffes, like Obama's remarks about the natives of inner Pennsylvania, Barack Obama has struck me as charming, charismatic, and smart. There's no reason to believe that he would intentionally destroy the nation that's given him his current position.

I think that President Obama is aware that leaders of Al Qaeda and the Taliban, the Ayatollahs of Iran, and other people who are responsible for "man-caused disasters," are not nice. I also think he's sharp enough to realize that saying nice things doesn't always make nice things happen.

At least, I hope so.

Related posts: News and views:

Excerpt from "The End of the U.S. War On Terror" (Journal of the Turkish Weekly (May 8, 2009))

"Do you remember where you were the day the 'global war on terror' ended?

"Like most people, you probably didn't even notice that it had. And that may be because the 'war' didn't end the way the man who started it -- former U.S. President George W. Bush -- often predicted it would: with 'complete victory' in the 'great struggle between the forces of freedom and the forces of terror.'

"It ended with an e-mail, sent under a new administration led by President Barack Obama.

"Sometime during the week of March 25, the government agency that reviews the public statements of administration officials before they're disseminated sent an e-mail to employees of the U.S. Defense Department. The e-mail read: 'This administration prefers to avoid using the term "long war" or "global war on terror." Please use "Overseas Contingency Operation." '

"It added, 'Please pass this on to your speechwriters.'

"At first the White House denied that an across-the-board decision had been made to banish the old language and introduce the new phrase, but a few days later Secretary of State Hillary Clinton confirmed to reporters that 'war on terror' is not how anyone who works for President Obama will be describing U.S. policy, either at home or abroad.

"Clinton said, 'The administration has stopped using the phrase and I think that speaks for itself.'

"Obama himself hasn't said anything about the change, but while he was still a candidate for president, he made it clear that in an Obama White House, the language of diplomacy would replace the language of force.

" 'After eight years of the disastrous policies of George Bush, it is time, I believe, to pursue direct diplomacy with friend and foe alike without preconditions,' Obama said in May 2008...."

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.